After missing out last weekend due to unforeseen circumstances, we are bringing the DSD sessions back this coming weekend. Bangalore can now continue to experience the thrill of diving underwater right here in town. The sessions start this Saturday, August 6, at the St. Josephs Indian high School pool at 10:00 AM, and bookings are now open! Check out the pretty little graphic below, and contact us for confirmation of your booking. Let’s go dive!
We are proud to announce that we have appointed Suzanne Michelle Coombs as the primary Staff Instructor for our dive centers in Bangalore and Andaman Islands. Suzy Coombs has the distinction of being one of the deepest woman divers in the world, when she dived to a depth of 500 feet (152.4 meters) off the coast of Sweden. This announcement comes as good news to all Indian dive enthusiasts, as they now have a chance to learn and train with one of the most accomplished divers in the world.
Planet Scuba India Pvt Ltd has been providing scuba diving training and dive holidays around the world for the past three years. We are India’s first inland dive center based in Bangalore and we have expended our operations to Andaman Islands with the Andaman Diving Academy based in Port Blair.
Suzy Coombs started her diving as a BSAC diver (British Sub Aqua Club) in England when she was 18 and quickly became an Instructor with her local club. Her passion for diving led her to decide, at the age of 20, that she would like to dive outside the UK. She got involved in a research project in Tanzania where she had her first warm water dive.
Since then, she has converted to a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and DSAT Tec Trimix Instructor which allows her to teach new instructors and undertake technical dives. She has worked with several different dive centers in several different countries, mainly Egypt. She has moved to India to spread awareness about scuba diving in India, a country whose coastlines have the richest marine life and has yet to be explored.
Although the Maldives are known the world over for the stunning beaches and azure waters that typify the tropical idyll, its life beneath the water’s surface is becoming ever more respected by divers in the know. The Maldive Islands have some excellent coral reefs, but it’s the abundance of fish life throughout the country that sets it apart from other dive destinations.
Most diving in the Maldives is drift dives from liveaboards where you allow the current to move you along. Due to the myriad channels and passages between the atolls, the currents sweep and play throughout the island chain so that nutrients are always on the move. This accounts for the vast numbers of fish enjoying the passing feast and you can expect to see Napoleon wrasse, parrotfish, snappers, barracudas, jacks and sweetlips in every site where the water flows.
In the channels, you can explore the caves, caverns and overhangs where soft corals proliferate, and there is a riot of colourful sponges, invertebrates and gorgonian fans all profiting from the nutrient-rich water. There are also plenty of cleaning stations where cleaning wrasses and shrimps service the larger marine species.
Inside the atoll lagoons you often find pinnacles of rock vaulting up almost to the surface. These are known locally as ‘Thilas’ and are often bejewelled with sessile life forms. These formations bring water up from the ocean floor against their walls, feeding the sponges and soft corals that cling to its sides as well as creating an environment that supports a plethora of crustaceans and schools of resident fish.
Slightly removed from the reefs, you are likely to spot the pelagics that frequent the Maldives, including manta rays and eagle rays and a variety of sharks including the mighty whale shark. Wherever you look there is likely to be something of interest going on and for many it is in the shallows where the best of the action takes place. Here the clear water, brightly illuminated by the sun’s rays and playing host to great numbers of fish, provides an ideal environment both for photographers and divers alike.
During the El Niño of 1998 some shallower areas of the coral reefs have been adversely affected by bleaching. However the accepted view is that while the reefs are returning to their former colourful glory, the marine life has never dwindled and indeed many believe it has increased in numbers over the past few decades.
Bangalore Dive Club together with Planet Scuba India has once again managed to take dive trips to a whole new level. The Nethrani dive trip saw a unprecendented 40 divers from India descending on Murdeshwar’s shores. It was a huge number of people and it was a show of strength from the divers.
Nethrani was closed to diving after an incident involving the arrest of some divers. This happened post 26/11 when security was a knee jerk reaction to the terror incident in Mumbai. After numerous efforts by PSI and the local diving community, Nethrani finally got approved for scuba diving.
Divers were all in high spirits waiting to begin their adventure in these “forbidden” waters as such. There was a high level of camaraderie and anticipation in the air. Even though visibility on the first day was poor due to heavy rains the night before the marine life underwater more than made up for it. Huge lobsters, cuttlefish, moray eels and many more varieties of fish kept the divers completely entertained. It truly was a fantastic dive experience.
There were press involved in this dive trip as well. They got a taste of what scuba diving is all about. The one thing that struck both press and divers is the extensive damage that has been done to the marine environment due to excessive fishing. There was mutual concensus that something had to be done to curb discriminatory practices of fishing and some sort of basic education needs to be imparted to the fishermen on what to fish and how to do it the right way without destroying the environment in which they too are dependent on.
All in all, it was a fantastic 3 days of diving and everyone had a good time. Here’s hoping that Nethrani becomes the diving paradise that it is in good time.
INDIA’S FIRST EVER INSTRUCTOR DEVELOPMENT COURSE (IDC) AND INSTRUCTOR EXAM (IE)
BECOME A PADI INSTRUCTOR AND BE A PART OF INDIAN DIVING HISTORY!
Here is the basic information that you need to know. To ask any questions, confirm your attendance, order your PADI Materials or just have a chat call, David Perry on +91 94493 51192 or email at email@example.com.
The IDC runs from 16 November to 27 November including a free 2-day mock IE to fine tune your examination skills. The IE is on 28-30 November.
The IDC will be held at Planet Scuba India’s new purpose-built Instructor Training facility in Port Blair, Andaman Islands. With the latest multimedia classroom, an Olympic size pool and crystal clear waters on the doorstep the facilities will be unrivalled. The IE will also be in Port Blair.
The Course Director running the IDC will be Matt Bolton – a Platinum Course Director normally based in Thailand who is generally considered to be one of the world’s top Instructor Trainers.
This first IDC will be cheaper than most comparable IDCs in the region and so the price of the IDC will be just 50,000 Rs (1,038 $USD)! This price includes your Instructor Candidate Workbook, open and confined water Lesson Planning Slates and your PADI IDC fee – worth over 12,000 Rs (250 $USD) in total!
You will pay direct to PADI the cost of the Instructor Exam (695 $AU).
You must be a PADI Divemaster or an Instructor in good standing with another recognized organisation, have 100 logged dives and have been diving for more than 6 months since your entry-level diving course.
If you are crossing over from another certification body or are unsure about your knowledge of PADI skills or current diving theory, we will be arranging a Pre-IDC Preparation Course.
You must also become an Emergency First Response Instructor prior to the IE (unless you are a current Instructor with DAN, Red Cross or other approved organisation) and we have scheduled an EFR Instructor Course for 14-15 November immediately prior to the IDC for all those candidates who need it.
In addition to the Instructor Candidate Workbook and Slates included in the price of the IDC, PADI give the following list of Required Materials that you must have at the IDC/IE:
PADI Instructor Manual (digital or paper but must be legal and up to date i.e. 2009 version)
Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Instructor Outline
Diving Knowledge Workbook
Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving
Project AWARE Specialty Instructor Outline
AWARE – Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Instructor Outline
RDP – Table and eRDPML including associated Instructions for Use booklets
PADI Open Water Diver Manual
Open Water Diver Quizzes & Exams booklet
PADI Adventures in Diving Manual
PADI Rescue Diver Manual
Rescue Diver Final Exams booklet
PADI Divemaster Manual
Divemaster Final Exams booklet
Aquatic Cue Cards – for Open Water Diver, Adventures in Diving, Rescue Diver, Divemaster and Discover Scuba Diving
Please note that the various Manuals must be complete and up to date with the Knowledge Reviews intact.
You may have access to some or all of these materials – for anything that you don’t have simply order it through Planet Scuba India at a special wholesale price.
What should you do now?
Once you have decided to take part in the IDC, you simply contact me by email and we will arrange for you to pay a deposit of 10,000 Rs (208 $USD). We will then send you your Instructor Candidate Workbook so that you can make a start on your Independent Study – 17 Knowledge Reviews to do before the IDC starts!
David Perry will then stay in touch with you on at least a fortnightly basis to give you further information.
* Currency conversion based on current exchange rate
** please message for more information